Purdy gets house arrest
(LINDSAY) Jeffrey Purdy, 39, was sentenced in Lindsay court to two years less a day Monday (Oct. 4) after he plead guilty earlier this year to several sex-related charges involving young women.
Mr. Purdy pled guilty to a total of nine charges, including seven counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual interference and one count of breach of probation, in June and August, but wasn’t sentenced until yesterday.
Additional charges were withdrawn.
Justice Rhys Morgan sentenced Mr. Purdy to 15 months and 25 days to be served in the community, or house arrest, on top of eight months already spent in custody. He also received three years probation. That means Mr. Purdy will be released from the Quinte Detentional Centre in Napanee Tuesday (Oct. 5) Justice Morgan said.
The sentencing followed the submission of a joint statement of facts from the Crown and the defence as well as a pre-sentence report. Four victim impact statements were also submitted as exhibits in the case, but not read out in court.
Mr. Purdy was originally arrested Sept. 22, 2009 after five teens complained to police the man had befriended them – in some cases had them move into his apartment – and assaulted them sexually, Kawartha Lakes Police said at the time.
Originally, Mr. Purdy was charged with five counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual exploitation and one count of criminal harassment. Since his arrest, Mr. Purdy has been charged with five more counts of sexual assault and two charges of failure to comply with probation.
Crown attorney Jennifer Broderick described some detail of the offences in court, which ranged anywhere from unwanted sexual touching on the buttocks and breasts right to sexual intercourse – admittedly consensual – with two of the victims. She described a man who surrounded himself with young women, meeting them through relationships with their acquaintances.
“Mr. Purdy would build trust with one woman and then move on from one to another,” she said.
“A number of these young women share a common thread in that they were experiencing difficulty in their home lives,” the Crown stated later.
The young women were lured with cigarettes, booze, rides, and in some cases, a place to stay at Mr. Purdy’s apartment.
Once that trust was established, Ms Broderick said Mr. Purdy “groomed” the young women, starting slowly with compliments, which eventually turned sexual and finally manifested in unwanted sexual touching.
“All of the women protested at one point or another,” the Crown pointed out.
The fact that Mr. Purdy pled guilty to the majority of the charges, thus saving his victims the trauma of re-living the events in court, was an important mitigating factor in the sentence, said Ms Broderick, adding the Crown likely would have asked for a three-year sentence had the defendant fought the charges.
Other mitigating factors included the fact that Mr. Purdy had no previous criminal record for sexual offences and his lack of apparent addiction problems to drugs and alcohol.
Aggravating factors in the sentence included the length of time over which the offenses took place – two years – and the age of the victims, who were 16 and 17 years old, Ms Broderick said.
“The pre-sentence report shows clearly a general disrespect for women,” she said, adding that Mr. Purdy “… showed a lack of insight into why his actions were criminal.”
Other aggravating factors included the impact Mr. Purdy’s actions had on his victims, who had lost the ability to trust others, particularly men, and fear of being manipulated, and a loss of self-esteem that in at least some of the cases led to depression and the need for therapy and medication.
Mr. Purdy’s defence lawyer, Ken Murray, said that his client genuinely believed that his interactions with his victims were playful in nature and that he was helping them and that his behavior was the product of a dysfunctional family life and personality and having only ever had sporadic employment and no long-term relationships in his life.
Mr. Murray described the threat of physical harm to Mr. Purdy in jail, which is why he had to be moved from Lindsay to Qunite, has force Mr. Purdy to be on 23-hour daily lock-up and therefore giving him, “…ample time to reflect on his actions.”
The lawyer also added that his client never had any intention of moving back to Lindsay, is open to any counselling required, and wants to get a job.
Mr. Purdy plans to live with his sister in Durham region immediately after he is released, until he can find a place of his own, his lawyer said.
When given his chance to address the court, Mr. Purdy expressed regret and an understanding that what he did was wrong.
“I apologize to the court and the victims, this was never my intention, but I accept responsibility for my actions.”
Justice Morgan described the sentencing as difficult, as the agreed statement of facts, “…chronicles a consistent pattern of behavior,” in which Mr. Purdy befriends women 20 years younger than him and takes advantage of being an adult with access to an apartment, car, alcohol and cigarettes.
However, considering the mitigating factors, including Mr. Purdy’s chance to rehabilitate in the community, the conditional nature of his sentence and the reach of his probation, Justice Morgan deemed the joint submission to be fair and proportional and accepted it.
A publication ban is in effect protecting the identities of the complainants, as well as giving an order restricting Mr. Purdy from having any contact with eight young women.
A few of his many probation conditions are that he is not to be in the City of Kawartha Lakes, have any contact with his victims or anyone under the age of 18, unless he is under the direct supervision of an immediate family member.
Mr. Purdy has also submitted a DNA sample and will be a part of both the Ontario Sex Offender Registry as well as the federal equivalent.